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volcanohunter

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About volcanohunter

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    fan, former dancer, self-loathing (ex-)New Yorker
  • City**
    Canada
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    Canada

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  1. volcanohunter

    Are there any great Classicists today?

    Oh boy. Now I am veering into knock down territory. On the basis of a James I saw him dance a few months ago and a couple of sloppy Lenskys last month, with lots of turning on a flat foot, I have to disagree about Chudin. Tereshkina has phenomenal technique, but she comes across as hard. I don't get a sense of the concealed effort that lies at the heart of classicism. I love Cojocaru, but I wonder if she isn't a little too free form stylistically to be a true classicist. She is a great artist, no doubt there.
  2. volcanohunter

    Are there any great Classicists today?

    In the hands of a true classicist this is a moot point. For me, there is nothing so thrilling or rare as a dancer "speaks" classical ballet as a native tongue and makes it look as natural as breathing. To answer to topic of the thread, I don't think I've seen anyone today who meets CharlieH's requirements completely. If I have missed a latter-day Noëlla Pontois or Anthony Dowell, my sincere apologies to them! But there are a few rare dancers who understand ballet in their bones, put a very individual stamp on classicism, have an acute grasp of style, which nearly always springs from profound musicality, and phrase movement in such a way that it looks organic and inevitable, if not necessarily ideally classical. For them I'm deeply grateful. (As for Tiler Peck, I have a sneaking suspicion that the day following her retirement from the stage is the day I stop going to the ballet, because what comes after her is a wasteland of underfed contorionists.)
  3. volcanohunter

    Are there any great Classicists today?

    I would also disqualify her as a model classicist on account of her line. She lifts her legs too high to the back in arabesque and especially attitude, and tips her pelvis sideways and shifts her ribcage over to the side in à la seconde, as do most dancers today. P.S. This does not make me a Stepanova hater. But if we are seeking out great classicists, that sets the bar very high.
  4. For me a good recording of Swan Lake has been as elusive as the Holy Grail. (The same holds true in the opera house.) Good production, poor cast; good cast, horrible production; good leads, weak corps or vice versa; good classical sections, terrible national dances; good national dances, awful conducting; unforgivable musical cuts, absurd musical insertions... Excised mime, nasty accretions, unflattering costumes, hideous designs. The list of things that can and do go wrong is endless, as a result of which I probably own more than a dozen Swan Lake DVDs, but would have difficulty recommending any of them unreservedly.
  5. volcanohunter

    RB promotions

    Congratulations to Matthew Ball and his fellow promotees!
  6. Krzysztof Pastor's production of Swan Lake for the Polish National Ballet is available for viewing on demand. http://vod.teatrwielki.pl/en/stream/vod/jezioro-labedzie-1/ The ballet is recast as the story of the future Tsar Nicholas II, but like Neumeier's Illusions like Swan Lake, the first lakeside scene and the 'Black Swan' pas de deux are retained. The performance features Vladimir Yaroshenko (Nicholas), Chinara Alizade (Alexandra/Odette), Yuka Ebihara (Kshessinska), Maksim Woitiul (Volkov) and Emilia Stachurska (Preobrajenska). Other VOD offerings from the Teatr Wielki, including selections from a ballet gala are available here: http://vod.teatrwielki.pl/en/
  7. Just to clarify that the Bolshoi's Don Quixote with Osipova and Vasiliev is not available on (legit) DVD. A DVD from La Scala with Osipova and Sarafanov is available, but it is of Nureyev's peculiar production, and La Scala's company is far from the Bolshoi's standard. There are also a ton of horrid skycam shots. I always recommend the Australian Ballet's Coppelia ca. 1990 with Lisa Pavane and Greg Horsman. Not HD video, but a beautiful production and very fine performance.
  8. volcanohunter

    The Bolshoi under Vaziev

    Budapest is cheaper than Milan and easier to visit than Moscow, so for Tsvirko's Londoner fans, this may actually be a boon.
  9. volcanohunter

    The Bolshoi under Vaziev

    Another Bolshoi dancer scheduled to dance with the Hungarian National Ballet in New York, as Kitri no less, is Diana Kosyreva. She is still listed on the Bolshoi site, although that may change after her final scheduled performance next week. Kosyreva has been little used under the current Bolshoi management, although she dances plenty of leading roles as a guest of provincial theaters in Russia, and has probably decided that she's not likely to advance out of the Bolshoi's corps, trading that in for a demi-soloist contract in Budapest.
  10. volcanohunter

    The Bolshoi under Vaziev

    I'm not an admirer either, but it is a little surprising that a dancer who enjoyed such recent prominence should have jumped ship. I don't fully agree about his "warrior" credentials. I think the last thing I saw him dance was the Flames of Paris duet at the Adyrkhaeva birthday gala, and he was trying to out-Vasiliev Vasiliev, except that he couldn't, and he shouldn't have attempted that approach. He came across as an labored, inelegant bulldozer.
  11. volcanohunter

    The Bolshoi under Vaziev

    Tsvirko and his wife Evgenia Savarskaya are no longer listed on the Bolshoi's site, so apparently the move is permanent. I guess despite starring roles in three of four live broadcasts this season, Tsvirko was not happy at the company. Or perhaps 13 years after graduation from ballet school, Savarskaya saw no chances of advancing out of the Bolshoi's corps, and they decided it was time to seek a more conducive work environment. Tsvirko is now the second dancer featured in the Play for Him prorgram presented in late April, to have left the company, the other being Vladislav Kozlov, now in San Francisco. I suppose Moscow audiences will be watching a little nervously to see what becomes of the program's other two soloists, Vyacheslav Lopatin and Denis Savin. (In the case of Savin, his talents are so undervalued at the Bolshoi that I would encourage him to go elsewhere. His role as the King of Nubia in the forthcoming revival of The Pharaoh's Daughter is an insult to his abilities.)
  12. volcanohunter

    Don Quixote Spring 2018

    It varies in Russia from theater to theater. The Mariinsky seems more likely to turn a blind eye. The Bolshoi is more draconian in keeping amateur film off the internet. Once a YouTube video of the Bolshoi appears on an online forum such as this one, its days are numbered.
  13. volcanohunter

    Don Quixote Spring 2018

    Off the top of my head I can't remember which director (Adrian Noble?) said that a (stage) actor needed a big nose, big hands and a big voice. (The big nose and big voice often go together.) Stearns' deep-set, squinty eyes, hollowed-out cheek bones, full lips and fine teeth serve him well as a fashion model, but on stage the small eyes and short nose are a disadvantage. Dancers with large eyes and long noses have a much better chance of being "read" at a distance. Are small eyes and noses fatal for dancers? Of course not. No one ever suggested that Sara Mearns lacked expression or failed to project. But small eyes, inadequate eye makeup and an immobile face all work against Stearns, and it's unfortunate that he doesn't seem to be doing enough to compensate, especially since what he dances are primarily narrative ballets.
  14. volcanohunter

    Don Quixote Spring 2018

    The castanet variation is very fast, and sissonne jumps don't travel through space. I never saw it live, but it seems to me that even Plisetskaya's right leg didn't jut forward that far. Laurencia is a completely different story, because the music is much slower, and it's a split jump that travels through space. Even here I'd say that Plisetslaya emphasized the backbend more than the leg extended forward. The last person I saw do this variation was Ekaterina Krysanova, and she extended her leg more horizontally to the floor, but at the expense of the backbend. My vantage point was different, but I found Krysanova's performance disappointing. I guess the backbend is really more important in this variation. In any case, she didn't efface memories of the Plisetskaya footage. Regardless, it's a fundamentally different jump.
  15. volcanohunter

    Don Quixote Spring 2018

    I'm baffled by the assertion that Cynthia Harvey didn't do the "Plisetskaya jumps" on video.
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